President Biden announces options to fill vacant CFTC positions
President Joe Biden has appointed acting chairman of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) Rostin Behnam to fill his permanent position and two more to fill vacant committee seats.
In a White House announcement on Monday, President Biden said he plans to nominate Behnam, who has served as head of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission since former Chairman Heath Tarbert left in January – aside from Kristin Johnson and Christy Goldsmith Romero. All must be approved by the democratically controlled Senate.
According to her faculty profile at Emory University Law School, Johnson studies the impact of “emerging innovative technologies, including distributed digital ledger technologies that enable digital and intermediary creation.” In the past, she has hinted at establishing stronger government oversight over crypto platforms.
Romero served as Inspector General for the Troubled Asset Relief Program, an initiative to “prevent and detect fraud, waste and abuse” after the financial crisis of 2016 by the Securities and Exchange Commission.
It is unclear how the inclusion of Johnson and Romero will affect the CFTC’s digital asset policy. Dawn Stump told Cointelegraph in August that the government agency “does not regulate commodities and therefore does not regulate crypto assets, even if they are commodities.”
Related: (President Biden ) US lawmakers are calling on the CFTC and SEC to form a joint working group on digital assets
The CFTC normally has five commissioners on its board, but two seats have become vacant since the departure of Brian Quintenz on August 31 and former chairman Tarbert in January. All nominations must be made by the President of the United States and approved by the Senate by a simple majority. Currently, the Democrats control 50 of the 100 Senate seats, with Vice President Kamala Harris possibly serving as the decision-maker.